29, 1998 |
show commission we want battleship here
time to show the rest of the state our stuff.
The USS New Jersey Battleship Commission visits
Camden Friday to view the most logical site to berth the historic
warship. Around 11:15 a.m., commission members will pass by the
At that time, the Home Port Alliance for the
USS New Jersey wants the public to rally there as a show of strength
Make plans to be there because this is important.
The commission will recommend a site for the battleship in about
three weeks. It will choose among Camden, Bayonne and Jersey
City. Gov. Christie Whitman has said she will support its decision.
The commission is made up of 12 members from
North Jersey and one from South Jersey. Since the unit was formed
in 1980, Bayonne and Jersey City have captivated its attention.
At the commission's last meeting on July 8, the room was packed
with loudly cheering North Jersey supporters.
We have only a short time Friday to wow the
The 887-foot-long, 45-ton ship belongs on
the Delaware River where it was launched Dec. 7, 1942, exactly
one year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
People from the Delaware Valley built the
ship. They manned it. They repaired it after its battles.
Consider the sentiments of one Philadelphia
Naval Shipyard worker, Joe D'Imperio of Mantua. He helped get
the USS New Jersey ready for the Vietnam War.
'(Jersey City) Mayor (Bret) Schundler wants
the battleship in Liberty State Park for the money the ship will
bring to that area,' he wrote in a letter to the editor of the
'But we want more than that. We want to know
the USS New Jersey is close to the shipyard and the men who built
and worked on her and loved her. We want no more or less.'
Sen. John Matheussen, R-Gloucester, Camden
Mayor Milton Milan and Camden County Freeholder Patricia Jones
pressured the commission into visiting Camden before making its
Moreover, Matheussen, Milan and Jones have
collected petitions from their constituents and, with the help
of the Cooper's Ferry Development Association, have put together
a striking presentation to display Camden's suitability.
Let's show we care, too.
If you want the battleship on the Camden Waterfront,
across from Penn's Landing, come to the rally.
We'll do it again when the ''Big J' returns
to its rightful home on our Waterfront.